Saturday, August 31, 2013

Snack time!

Some of my favorite things to sculpt are snack foods...a few posts ago I showed you the chocolate chips cookies I made.  Yesterday's post was starting to get kind of long so I decided to hold off on the other snacks I made until today.

For a while now I've been making potato chips in 1:6th scale for Barbie and Monster High dolls, but I wanted to make them in 1:4 scale as well.  I sat done one day and made a bowl full.  AND I finally found a good use for the huge amount of supposedly Barbie sized bowls I have.  They make perfect snack sized bowls for the 16" crowd!

Lena and the rest of the girls are thrilled to have some salty crispy snacks to munch on.  Hmmm I seem to be hearing a lot of clamoring for a TV... Demanding little things these dolls are! LOL

Potato chips are one of those polymer clay projects where fingerprints are actually a GOOD thing!  I use a blend of translucent clay and white and punch small circles, which I then flatten into VERY thin chips.  I then toss them in a small jar with several colors of chalk to get their color.  I carefully remove them with my tweezers and gently shape them. Some I leave flat but more often than not they get some kind of a curl in them. I think they look MUCH more realistic that way.  After they are baked I brush off the extra chalk.

In this bowl all of the chips are glued down, but when I list them in my shop I will add a couple extra chips loose, that way my customers can use them in various scenes.

Now I love chips, but I KNOW that they aren't exactly the healthiest option for a crunchy snack, so I decided to sculpt up another favorite treat in my house: CARROTS!!!  My children LOVE them and I do too!  I started off by making a cane from polymer clay with a pale-ish orange in the center surrounded by a darker orange.  that way I could use the same cane for making not only whole carrots but sticks and slices too!

I cut and shaped each carrot before dusting them with a little bit of several orange/yellow chalks.  Each carrot is around 1.25 inches long (without the greenery). I then baked them, once that was done I took the back of my craft knife and little scored various places on the carrot in short horizontal stroke to just add a bit more dimension to them.

My next job was coming up with a way to make the green tops as I had someone specifically ask for farm fresh produce.  I did quite a bit of research online and thought about sculpting the leaves from clay, but I was concerned about the fragility of doing that.  I found some tutorials that used string; that just didn't look right to me. I even say some that used dried florals: but those either didn't look right or again I was worried about them being fragile.
Then I stumbled upon a website that talked about glycerin preserving for flowers and leaves.  Curing the floral material in a glycerin solution preserves the color AND the flexibility!!! 

After 3 different shops I finally found a bottle and came home to scout for the perfect foliage.  I found it in the weed you see in the above picture.  Sadly at this point I cannot seem to find any more of it, but I WILL be looking. I ended up with enough to do about 15 carrots.  I am ridiculously happy with the way they turned out!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Goings on from the last few days

I've been working pretty steadily the last few days, and enjoying my quiet days at home once again.  Our boys started school again this past Thursday!  It seems crazy to think that our younger 2 boys are now in 3rd and 7th grades!!!  Where on earth has the time gone?  My babies aren't babies any more, heck it's wild realizing that our oldest has been out of school for over a year now and on his own for several months now. *realizing you are getting old, sucks. :-( *

One of the things I have finished is the set of Harry Potter book ends.  The sculptures themselves are finished, and I'll be finishing the 7 books tomorrow. I had so much fun sculpting these pieces!  They have raised details, sunken lettering, and hand painted details as well!   They definitely challenged me, but I was happy to make them!

While I'm making the books for this set I will also be making a few sets in smaller sizes for 16" 1:4 scale dolls, as well as 9-12" 1:6th scale dolls like Barbie and Monster High too.

I actually managed to get a couple of my Monster High girls outside for an impromptu photo shoot earlier in the week.  I started a group on Flickr back in January to help myself and other MH fans to take more pictures.  There are some amazing photographers in this group. Monster High Weekly Photographs Group Although I am a bit ashamed to say that I've fallen WAY behind in my own group.

But last week's theme was FAMILY... so I gathered my DeNile sisters and took them outside.  On the left is Cleo, the middle sister. In the middle is Layla, the baby of the DeNile family. (This is actually a standard Cleo head that I have transplanted onto a shorter Howleen Wolf body. =D)  And on the right is my personal favorite DeNile sister: Nefera!

 About 2 weeks ago I got an order in my shop for some resin drinks.  I was out of that particular item, so I mixed up another small batch and filled a bunch of various sized glasses including some that I thought would work out well for my 16" 1:4 scale crew.

Turns out I was right!  Lena needed something to drink with her cookies since the milk is still behind the cabinet. LOL  I made several different varieties of wine/juice and tea and I will be listing them in my shop next week. 

I do still have some empty glasses as well, so I can make custom drinks as well!

Here is just another shot from a different angle.  

I was playing around with some of the extra pics I took, and got this great shot of Lena's eyelashes.  That was the last thing she needed to be complete.  I found a box of fake eyelashes I bought several years ago after Halloween...I'm not even sure why I bought them, but I'm glad I did.  It's very hard to see in the pictures but there are actually small clusters of blue and purple lashes too!

I decided to swap her back to her turquoise 'contacts' for a while, because the color is just so vivid!  The only thing I dislike about them is that they have a very high and pointy clear layer over the iris, which can sometimes look odd in pictures.  I would like to try and find her a pair of glass ones that have this same vividness.  Although I am tempted to play around with these and file them smooth and give them a new lightly rounded coat of resin instead.  Because if that works, then I will keep them and not have to spend any more money. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

A project, cookies and a little tiff...

Hey Y'all it's Lena.  Mom's been working pretty hard on a really cool project for a friend of hers so I'm blogging tonight.  Sorry I was going to do it last night, but we ended up watching a couple movies last night instead.

This is one third of the project that's keeping Mom busy.  She is recreating a set of Harry Potter book ends...but on a small scale.  The full size set belongs to her friend's daughter, who is getting married soon. Her mom wants a small set for her display cabinet so that she has it to remember all the fun she and her daughter had reading the books and watching the movies together! (awwww isn't that so sweet! <3 p="">
*Hey guys, it's me Deb, figured I'd take over for Lena and tell you about this fantastic commission I'm almost finished with.  My dear friend asked me to make this set for her and it's been a really neat project.  On this side of the book-ends I still need to antique it and add a few more painted details, but this one it pretty much done.
The other half is a set of 4 books. The top book is a Magic textbook and includes the Hogwarts crest... the crest is barely half an inch across, but I'm super happy with it!  My plan is to have them all painted tomorrow so Lena and I can show them off hopefully tomorrow night! :-)  The last thing I have to make for this project is a set of the actual books to go between the book-ends!

Lena here, so about those cookies and that little tiff... well Mom made us some fresh chocolate chunk cookies and I smelled them all the way down on the desk and just had to get a couple. When I got the the kitchen Abbey and Nance were already there.  Abbey asked me to grab the milk from the fridge, because nothing goes better with fresh cookies than a nice tall glass of milk!  So I went to grab it and well it slipped out of my hand and fell... I'd like to say that it just spilled and that was the end of it.  But no, you see there is a gap in the floor and wouldn't you know the darned jug fell right down behind the cabinet our kitchen sits on!!! Mom said it wasn't a big deal, in a couple days she'll move the cabinet and fetch it for us. But Abbey got rather cranky and said that I couldn't have any! 
Hot fresh chocolate chunk cookies!!!

I told her she was out of her mind and that if Mom wasn't mad then she had no right to be mad either.  You know for as sweet and polite as Abbey is, well she's got a temper!

Nance wasn't much help, she just stood there worrying the ends of her braid.  (Yeah she decided to try out a new wig too.  She likes it, but says it's really long and not really practical unless it's braided.)  She whispered that Abbey wasn't feeling like herself.  Hmm I wonder if it's her new wig!  I'll tell you, she just doesn't look like herself without her pigtails!

Needless to say I grabbed my kitten, Scamp and a couple cookies and headed back down to the parlor on mom's desk.

Oh yeah I totally heard Abbey muttering and complaining to Nance, that I am spoiled and get all the good stuff and that Mom likes me better.

I won't deny that a little grin slid across my lips as I hopped back down to my usual spot!

It's me again.  It's funny how wigs can totally change a dolls personality!!!  (And yes the girls milk jug did indeed fall down behind the cabinet, not really looking forward to having to move that big thing out of the way to retrieve it! *sigh*  I bought these 2 wigs for Abbey and Nance when I bought Lena's wigs.  And while Lena seems to be able to pull off almost every color and style wig I've tried, Abbey just doesn't look right to me.  So I guess this wig will get put aside for now.  Nance like the colors of her new wig, it's a deep red with carrot orange on the underside.  But it is really long and it just all over the place if it's not in a braid. So both girls will most likely be back in their original wigs tomorrow.  Hmm I should probably put them in some new outfits too.  Lena's had 3 different outfits in the last week, and these 2 have been in the same clothes for several WEEKS now. Ooops :-( 
I probably need to address the jealousy issues too... but it's going to be tough to do and not hurt anyone's feelings. Because in some small ways, Abbey is right.  Lena IS spoiled and in some ways I do like her more, because she is just so much more poseable than Abbey or Nance, therefore so much more expressive.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Howdy Folks!

Hi Everyone, this is Lena!  Since Mom has a hard time keeping up with blog posts I thought I would help her out!  Especially since she got me and the girls a laptop to share!  Mom took pictures while I opened it up, so I guess my first blog post will be about our new laptop!


I was really excited when Mom said there was a package.  (I feel kind of bad that Abbie, Nance and Lily weren't able to help open it, but there are perks to being the most poseable! )

The box was pretty good sized and kind of heavy too.  There was a picture on the front but I couldn't really tell what it was.  The box said MirrorBook Air.  I was at a loss.

So I carefully started to open the box and imagine my surprise to find a LAPTOP!!!  Our very own laptop for the 4 of us to share!  (For now, Mom said she got a really great deal on it, so we will probably each get one soon!

It's got a huge monitor and lots of memory so we'll be able to play games and do photo editing and all those fun things!
 I told Mom that since she is often busy with sculpting or sewing or doing family stuff that us girls can help with blog posts every now and again.  (Maybe that way the blog might even get back to being a Daily Dish like she originally intended!)  I know she is pretty busy right now with lots of commissions, but at some point she really does plan on getting new things listed for sale in her Etsy shop!

So there will hopefully be lots of new neat things coming soon!

Oh hey Mom wants to say actually blog! *snickers*  Later y'all!

Hi guys it's me Deb!  Yep I found the coolest 1:4 scale laptop for my girls on ebay!  (Search Macbook Mirror)  They are really inexpensive and come in several colors!

The pic of the ring is mine. ;-)  About a year about the band of my engagement ring cracked.  I thought it would be expensive to fix and at the time we just didn't have the extra money so I tucked it away safely and just wore the matching band.  Well I finally decided enough was enough and decided to find out how much it would cost to fix it. (I also at the time didn't realize that a WHOLE year and gone by, and of course once I did I felt horrible!) Needless to say the repair was ridiculously inexpensive and to make a long-ish story short, my wedding set is fixed and finally back where it belongs!!! My husband picked it up on his was home from work this past Wednesday.  AND the wonderful romantic man that he is, even got down on one knee to put it back on my hand!!!  After nearly 15 years together he still makes my heart all fluttery! <3 br="">

I'm in the middle of a large-ish project right now, and needed a break yesterday. So I decided  to play Dr. Frankenstein with my Monster High dolls!  (Seems kind of fitting actually. lol) On of the few things I dislike about these dolls is that a couple of the characters are taller than they should be. One in particular really bugs me.  So I got to thinking: what if I hacked out a portion of her thighs and reglued her together so she'd be the height she is 'supposed' to be.  I remembered I have this pink cat girl that I had planned on selling. So I used her to practice one.  She started out the same height as the green gal.  I had wanted her to be closer to the height of the purple gal.  I didn't quite get there but I know that the process pretty much works!

Of course within minutes of hacking her legs up I realized that regular glue or even super glue wasn't going to be enough to hold solidly. *facepalm* Doh!  So while the boys and I were out school shopping I picked up some 2 part epoxy putty and she is currently curing.  Next week I'll sand her smooth and hopefully be able to share a few 'finished' pics.

This second picture was my reference, the girl I ultimately want to shorten should just come up to the guys shoulders, so I will need to shorten that doll a bit more.  On that one I think I will end up removing a section of her thighs AND her calves as well.  that should get her the height I want and make her a bit more proportionate.   The cat girl, has very short thighs and REALLY long legs! LOL

One the kitty I'll also be permanently adhering her ears down as well!

Well folks, thanks for visiting with Lena and me!  Hopefully one of us will post a bit more frequently now that we both have laptops!:-)


Monday, August 19, 2013

Just a little Lena spam

I don't really have much of anything new to show y'all right now, so I figured I'd share some pictures of Lena in a couple new wigs she got and the start of the eat-in kitchen I am creating for her and my other 16" girls.

This is the wig I've dubbed the "Cotton Candy" wig.  It's a lovely mix of pale blue, pink and lilac.  The wig is really well made... possibly even a bit TOO well made, truth be told.  It was very thick and very long!!!  (the original wig is in a picture below)  I debated for about 2 days as to whether I should trim it or just leave be.  Well I decided to go ahead and play with it.  The first thing I did was trim out several layers of wefting (the sewn together strings of hair) to make the wig a bit thinner. The I cut off about 4 inches from the bottom of the wig, bringing it up to mid-back level.  The last thing I did was cut the long front pieces into proper bangs.  That bit of hair originally came down past her chin!!!

Lena and I are both very happy with the new look! 

Last week, my sons wanted to go for a hike in the woods near our house, so we got our hiking shoes on and headed out.  Of course Lena wanted to go too, so she changed into this outfit and we headed out.  Because of all the rain we've had lately there were tons of mushrooms growing all over.  I took loads of pictures of them.  (I'll be adding them to my flickr soon!)

This picture was taken at the base of one of the LookOut Towers in the woods.  Lena was looking carefully over the edge and realizing just how far down it was!

In this pic Lena is not very happy about being put into this's just too floofy for her... Hmmm seems she is more of a tom-boy than I imagined.  In the background are Abbey (my Ellowyne Wilde) and Nance (a Delilah Noir)

The girls were hanging out in the kitchen diorama I am starting.  The kitchen fixtures are from Target's Our Generation line of 18" American Girl style dolls.

The table on the right was made by me, but I still need to finish painting it. I wanted it to me more like bar height, rather than standard table. My plan is to create a couple of barstools for it as well!

Here is Lena feeling MUCH more comfortable!  Nothing like a t-shirt and a comfy pair of yoga pants!

In this pic and the ones above and below you can see just how long the Cotton Candy wig was before I trimmed it!

Lena looks for a snack...

The last picture below is Lena's rainbow wig!  I LOVE this one, it's so much fun!  It is also very long, but I haven't yet decided if I am going to leave it full length or trim it up like I did the cotton candy one.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Newest goodies

Hooray, I've actually made a few things in the last few days!

I started playing about with the cupcake mold I bought months ago for making 1:4 scale cupcakes.  I know that some people make their little ridged cupcake bottoms by hand... I tried, I really did, but I couldn't get the hang of making all those tiny ridges on each and every cupcake.  I'd get one side done and end up smooshing it while doing the other side or mashing the whole thing out of shape while trying to hold it. So once I discovered that there were industrious folks out there selling molds of great looking cupcake bottoms, well,  I jumped...and fast! LOL  I own molds for 1:12, 1:6 and 1:4 scale cupcakes.  But that is really the only part of the cupcake I mold.  The actual cake part itself is hand shaped, textured and colored. And the frosting and decorations are all done by hand as well.  So I guess like Sandra Lee, my doll cupcakes are semi-homemade! :-)

 I started out playing with some old faux turquoise cane I made several years ago. I cut off slices, rolled it into a bit of a ball then pressed it into the mold. I then add the 'cake' colored clay on top while it's still in the mold, to help the 'liner' keep it's shape while I texture it. Once the texture is finished I pop it out of the mold and add the wonderful 'just baked' colors. Sadly I don't have any of those to show you just yet as I haven't decided how to decorate those ones.

 Next I found a small chunk of a green/pearl/black cane, so I sliced that up but was only able to make 2 cupcakes from that one.
I remembered I had a couple of tiny pre-made polymer clay canes that I got with something I ordered a while ago.  This particular one is butterflies.  So I sliced the cane, mixed up some pretty Spring green frosting and topped these sweet cupcakes.

I love making cupcakes, they are so much fun, and there are so many cute ways you can decorate cupcakes!

I think I'm going to make some like this tomorrow in Barbie size... those are so small that they'll get topped with a single butterfly.

My next cupcakes are ones I've wanted to do for ages, but couldn't, due to not having a clay that was strong enough at a very thin thickness.  Well I finally found that clay in the brand Pardo! The best place to buy it is online through PolyClayPlay. It's more expensive than Premo, but it's performance is amazing.

So what are these fabulous cupcakes I've wanted to make... THESE!

Months ago I saw these cupcakes and these ones and just KNEW I had to recreate them somehow.  So I set about making a half dozen roses and hand tinting each one, so no two roses are the same.  The roses were baked first.  Then I followed up by making solid pink liners topped with red velvet cake.

After the cakes had cooled completely, I frosted them with a thick layer of white frosting and gently pressed the rose into the frosting.  They had to dry for about 2 days to be fully cured.

Of course once they were all dry,  I  decided that nope, they weren't done yet. So today I started hand painting every other ridge white. I have 3 completely painted so far and NOW I can say that they are indeed done!

To take a break from claying this morning I took our boys on a little nature hike, but this post is already long and it's late and I need to switch the laundry and load the dishwasher, so I guess I'll tell you all about that tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How crazy...

How crazy is it that it's the middle of August already? I can't believe that this year is well past being half over already!  My kids don't start back to school this year until the end of the month, so we are starting to wean off of our summer routines and back into the school-year ones.  This weekend we'll be going school shopping!!!

So I decided today that it was time for ME to get back into my own routine again.  Through out the summer I've made the bad habit of going back to bed after my husband leaves in the morning.  The boys usually sleep until 9:30-10am so I would too!  By the time I was up, dressed and ready to be productive it was often 11 am... hard to get anything done when the morning is half over already.  So this morning I got up with my husband and got to work.

The first thing I did was go through my To-Do List.  It had gotten to the point that it was more orange lines (my preferred color for crossing things off) than things that needed done.  So I started a new page, moving the few unfinished items to the top of the list.  I'm happy to only have 4 commissions left on my plate! =D

I also added several things to my list that I want to finish for my shop.  My goal is so complete everything on my list by the 31st of August! To help (hopefully keep myself accountable) I'm posting my list here and then on the 1st of Sept I'll hopefully be able to share that I finished my list!

These are the last of my commissions:
  • Small scale Harry Potter inspired Bookends and books
  • Monster High sized copies of the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games trilogy, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Hobbit
  • 3 custom Monster High dresses, Red, White and Aqua
  • large Barbie scale Christmas tree decorated in Burgundy, Purple and Gold
  • 2 Barbie coffee mugs
  • 2 custom Queen's Jubilee Picnic baskets
And my goals for my shop:
  • Sew 6 1:4 scale t-shirts
  • List 8 new items in the store
  • Make 4 sets of atleast 6 cupcakes each for Monster High, Barbie, & 1:4 scale
  • Finish sewing and LIST the 3 reversible 1:4 scale skirts I made last month
  • List at least 5 Monster High items (shoes or clothes)
  • Sew 3 of the Barbie dresses that have been cut out since oh... 2011!
And my final goal is for the Monster High Weekly Photography group I started in January.  I started the group to challenge myself to do more dioramas and take more pictures of my MH gang. Sadly I have fallen WAY behind in even that! :-(
So my goal for that is to:
  • Take pictures for the current weeks theme and 1 past weeks theme. So by the end of the month I'll have taken at least 4 sets of pictures!
Wish me luck! :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More clay work

I've spent the last week plugging away at some clay orders.  I'm almost caught up!!!! =D  Today I finished the most challenging part of this particular order... POPCORN!  A dear friend of mine has been commissioning me to make her daughter foods for her American Girl dolls for several years now, and I must say this latest order almost stumped me.  I was asked to make a couple bowls of snack foods. Cheese and crackers, potato chips and popcorn.
 The cheese and Ritz-type crackers were easy. These are all glued into the bowl, with a few left loose for play.  I want to give them a bit of gloss and a sprinkling of 'salt' but other than that they are done. The Cheddar cheese cubes are also glued down, save for a few loose ones.

Up next I started the potato chips...only to discover that the half pound block of Translucent clay I bought a couple of months ago was the WRONG brand!!!  (My claying friends will understand my dismay at discovering that it was Sculpey III rather than my standard Premo!) I ended up doing a little research online I deciding to order some Pardo from Poly Clay Play after remembering I had some of their clay in my desk.  My biggest issue with the potato chips is they have to be rather thin, but still sturdy and some flexibility is important too.  Pardo actually fits these criteria really well!  Yeah it's a bit more than Premo (especially when that's on sale) but sometimes you have to pay a little more when there is something your clay MUST have! *shrugs* Thankfully my order shipped really fast and I was able to have my new clay within just a few days.

I have since this pic added a few more chips and adjusted the ones in the bowl so that the poly-fil underneath doesn't show.  This set also has a few loose ones to play with. (While I was at it I created a jar full of 1:6th and 1:4 scale chips for future sale items too!)

So the big stumper for me was the popcorn.  I initially wasn't sure exactly how I was going to make the pieces.  But a couple of days after I accepted the commission this video came across my Pinterest boards. Popcorn Charms It was very serendipitous for sure!  The gal who made the video uses a homemade texture plate and low and behold I had some of the molding compound she used!

So I set about making the mold, letting it cure a couple days and then starting to make the popcorn. It took me a few tries to get the motions down right, but I am totally loving the end results!!!

In this pic this batch of popcorn hadn't yet been baked.  I ended up making about 2 dozen more pieces what will fill up another red bowl like the chips and crackers above.

I posted the pic to my Facebook last night and received many compliments, but the best being from the girl they are destined to go live with!  She loved them!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Here be dragons....

Well at least ONE dragon! lol  I got the green dragon all finished and she is ready to fly to her new home.  I had a couple missteps along the way... like giving her 2 left wings!!!  That was a pain in the butt, but it was relatively easily corrected.  She was sculpted in 2 shades of green and then highlighted with metallic green and gold powders.  She has a fabulous Swarovski crystal 'earring' in her left ear as well.

This was the first time I've ever tried to do something different with the arm positioning, and this gal wound up with some fabulous attitude! :-)

Minions!!!!1 =D

Blinged out dragon